Employee Engagement Employee Recognition HR Tech

What exactly is an employee recognition platform?


Have you ever read about the latest employee recognition platform, and wondered whether it might be the HR equivalent of a jade facial roller, i.e. something that looks cool, might kinda work, but also seems like a big load of hype?

We get that. There’s a whole lot of ‘revolutionary’, ‘game-changing’ SaaS-based tech doing the rounds, and at a certain point you start wondering if you need all of it in your company’s HR ecosystem.

Happily, we can attest to the fact that an employee recognition platform happens to be the HR equivalent of a balanced diet, plenty of rest and lots of good old H20*, i.e. an approach that goes back to basics that sets the stage for good results based on regular, ongoing effort.


*Just so we’re clear - in the world of this slightly off-kilter metaphor, glowing skin = awesomely engaged + productive employees.

Let's break it down by starting with a basic definition of employee recognition.

Employee recognition (def): A timely acknowledgement, informally or formally, of a person’s actions or behaviours that are above and beyond standard performance and support a company’s values and goals.

Check out our YouTube channel for awesome videos on everything from the science of employee recognition to creating an internal communications strategy for enhanced engagement.

Why is this important?

Well, employees are first and foremost human, and as humans, we want to feel appreciated and valued for who we are and what we do. As such, employee engagement is positively connected to core company results and continues to be linked to critical company outcomes such as profitability, productivity, employee retention, customer retention, and customer quality.

This is also why employees who don’t feel valued, are disconnected and misaligned to their employers’ vision and values, are at best, not motivated to do their best work. At worst, they are actively disengaged, which means they are spreading their negativity about your business to their co-workers, and even outside of the boundaries of your business.


DID YOU KNOW? Statistics show that up to 46% of South African employees are disengaged, of which 45% of that number are actively disengaged.

That’s why it’s vital to have a values-based recognition program to ensure that you can measure how your employees live your values, contribute to your culture and display positive behaviours.


Here are 7 aspects that underpin the functionality of a really good employee recognition platform:


1. Dual-purpose recognition

Dual-purpose recognition refers to a process that focuses people’s productivity by linking employees’ actions with organisational goals and values. Ideally, you want each message of recognition created on this kind of platform to be linked with a relevant strategic business goal or organisational value. This is a great way to view strategy in action.

2. Ongoing communication and engagement

Connecting your people to your company’s purpose, mission and values requires communication that reaches the right people at the right time with the right message. Platforms that do this well have various communication tools, such as a company news feed, custom communication schedules, direct chat, and interactive profiles with personal dashboards, built in.

3. Survey-driven insights and feedback

A platform with survey functionality can provide actionable insights by means of pre-scheduled and spontaneous surveys that can be used as a tool to measure sentiment on the fly.

READ MORE: 5 reasons to conduct an employee engagement survey (With Questions)

4. Integrated online learning and assessment

While not all employee recognition platforms include this type of functionality, an online learning plug-in that is directly linked to recognition is a great way to integrate and deploy learning assets like quizzes, video how-tos and even full-scale courses in a way that drives training uptake and boosts organisational competence.

5. Reward with choice

Reinforce the behaviours that drive organisational success with reward experiences that are meaningful, memorable and personal. Ideally, you want to invest in a platform that hosts a comprehensive range of employee-centric rewards such as digital vouchers, virtual cards, experience rewards, travel rewards, and more. When employees can choose the way in which they are rewarded, they are far more likely to bring their A-game, after all.

6. Measure success

One of the most important roles of a SaaS-based employee recognition platform is to track performance and measure success. Choose a program that leverages a data-based approach, drawing on hundreds of individual user data points to generate easy-to-interpret people analytics and talent data, displayed in clear dashboard visualisations that help to enhance program effectiveness.

From gaining a better understanding of which talent dimensions drive performance, to analysing the behaviour of high-performing teams, this kind of hard-hitting analytics helps organisations to make better talent management decisions.

7. Gamified experience

Using motivational nudges, performance triggers and feedback loops, a gamification application

draws players into a world of self-discovery. The effect is deeper engagement and measurable

behaviour change. For instance, players can participate in missions linked to platform and program engagement, essentially advancing as individuals within their respective roles through various stages of proficiency, from novice to master. This kind of functionality lays the groundwork for truly immersive motivation.

In the end, the key is to choose an employee recognition platform that brings together the different components of the employee experience on a single, powerful engagement platform.

There you have it - an employee recognition platform in a nutshell. Sounds rather marvellous, doesn’t it? It might be time to try it at your company, don’t you think? In the meantime, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for cool, concise video content that addresses common HR concerns like supporting employee recognition with meaningful rewards.

Check out our YouTube channel for awesome videos on everything from the science of employee recognition to creating an internal communications strategy for enhanced engagement.

New call-to-action